What I Read Online – 11/29/2011 (a.m.)

    • For 2012 we are trying to get all the men in our church to learn the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
    • What is the relationship between Christianity and politics? What danger comes from confusing the two? Mike Horton tackles this important and timely question for Christians in America and around the world.
    • Caution is wise here. I would not recommend a first time reader jump headlong in a multi-volume series of collected works, especially any modern reader who appreciates a section break here or there. Edwards and Goodwin would also be rough.
    • he stresses at the end of the book that a true Christian will trust Christ today and have a trajectory of growth. Perhaps a better question to ask earlier on might therefore be whether there is a willingness and eagerness to continually grow in knowledge of God.
    • The Heidelberg Catechism has been taught to children for hundreds of years, encouraging them to seek Christ as their true source of comfort. But how did this catechism get written? In The Quest for Comfort, William Boekestein and Evan Hughes combine history and art to retell the events that led to making the catechism. By sharing the stories of Caspar Olevianus, Zacharias Ursinus, and Frederick III and how they came to Heidelberg, children will gain a greater appreciation of the Christian faith as it is expressed in the Heidelberg Catechism.
    • We must know the difference between committing ourselves to leadership in our families because it’s “right,” and looking to Christ as the Good Shepherd who, by his grace, will conform us to the will of his Father as we trust and obey him.
    • All the gospel requires from us is repentance and faith
    • While repentance and faith are what the gospel requires, what the gospel produces is obedience to all the Lord’s commands.
    • Many readers will know Richard Bauckham as the author of the groundbreaking work Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony. But few know of his years spent in the Winnie-the-Pooh books, reconstructing the community behind the texts. In this unpublished paper he summarizes the “major methodological breakthrough which virtually all Pooh scholarship now takes for granted.”
    • This is the ultimate reason why every mother in Israel was so concerned about having children. Who will continue this relay race?
    • Even as I write, I have just been passed an article from USA Today in which Stott is described as one of the Christian church’s `most universally beloved figures.’  Only an American could have written that.  Back home in Britain, Stott was a more ambiguous figure, great man though he undoubtedly was.  Like all great men, his faults were as dramatic as his virtues, from his conscientious objection to war service in World War II to aspects of his theology to his ecclesiastical strategy.
    • As to the second, critical appreciation seems to be a lost art these days. My suspicion is that this derives from the rather effeminate nature of modern culture where we regard any criticism as deeply personal and a fundamental attack on character. Add to this the American cultural proclivity of investing unreasonably huge amounts of hope and expectation in single individuals and you have a powerful sedative which will dull the senses to matters of real concern.
    • It is surely ironic that Christianity, a religion committed to the notions of universal sinfulness and of undeserved salvation only in Christ, apparently has such difficulty with the idea that our heroes are flawed.  Yes, we all pay lip-service to the idea; but it seems to make no practical difference. 
    • If we can only learn from those we first remake in our own image, then we can never really learn from that which is different. Indeed, learning becomes little more than the reinforcement or clarification of what we know or believe already.
    • Our brains must be kept switched on; we must give credit where credit is due; but we must also remember that sometimes we learn most from great men when we look at the great mistakes they made.
    • What I saw as I read that post is the reality that this older generation sees the younger crowd as celebrating freedom by rubbing it in their face.
    • Instead of using our freedom in love and respect, we are using our freedom carelessly and even spitefully. 
    • What we cannot allow ourselves to do is to be seen as despising or condemning the other. The one will be prone to see the other as bound by legalism or immaturity and will, in turn, find anger or hatred welling up within his heart. The other will be prone to see the other as going far beyond what the Lord allows and he will then condemn this freedom as lawlessness.
    • The answer is blindingly simple. Owen was a pastor. Of fundamental importance to him was the spiritual growth of those amongst whom he ministered. His primary motivation was the growth in holiness of his flock. Everything else stems from that truth. (13)
    • My own reading of Owen has convinced me that everything he wrote for his contemporaries had a practical and pastoral aim in view—the promotion of true Christian living. (xi)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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About Joe Fleener

Lover of Christ & His Gospel, Husband to Mandy, Father to three wonderful children, Servant to the Local Church, Bible College Lecturer
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